St. Johnstone fan handed lifetime ban for racially abusing Canadian forward Theo Bair
Scottish Premiership club 'appalled' by racist comments made towards Ottawa native
St. Johnstone has handed a supporter a lifetime ban for racially abusing Canadian international forward Theo Bair on Saturday.
The Scottish Premiership club said the "wholly unacceptable incident" took place last Saturday at the end of St. Johnstone's 1-0 loss to visiting Aberdeen at McDiarmid Park in Perth.
The 23-year-old from Ottawa, a former Vancouver Whitecap, joined St. Johnstone in January 2022.
"What happened to me on Saturday was shocking, disturbing and unacceptable," Bair, who is Black, said in a statement. "I'd had nothing but good experiences in Perth at St. Johnstone before this incident.
"I am grateful to the football club for dealing with this situation immediately and giving me their support. Racism has no place in our society or in the game of football. I now want to put this incident behind me and focus on our game on Saturday against Ross County.
"I hope people can respect my request for privacy on this matter from here on in."
The Club can tonight confirm it has given a lifetime ban to a supporter who racially abused Theo Bair on Saturday.<br><br>This wholly unacceptable incident took place at the stadium at the end of the game against Aberdeen.<br><br>Click below for the full statement—@StJohnstone
Bair, who had entered the game in the 90th minute, informed club officials of the abuse after the game.
"We were appalled by the racist comments made to Theo on Saturday evening by a so-called supporter," Ian Flaherty, St. Johnstone's head of operations, said in a statement. "St Johnstone Football Club strongly condemns all forms of discrimination. The person in question has been dealt with and given a lifetime ban. Anyone with such views is not welcome at our football club.
Bair joined the Whitecaps residency program in 2015 and went on to play 37 regular-season games for the first team from 2019 to 2021. He has won two caps for Canada, scoring one goal.
St. Johnstone (9-16-5) sits ninth in the 12-team Scottish top tier.